Monday, December 28, 2015

With Sprinkles Please

"With Sprinkles Please"
12" x 12", oil on canvas

Such a cheerful subject.   
I painted this about a month ago.  It was a fun little still life that I set up for a student, so I painted too  :)

Thank you for looking! 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Flower #12

"Flower  #12"
24" x 24", oil on canvas

"Flower #12", 24" x 24" oil on canvas…. okay, I've done this bouquet about 4 times, time to move on to another.

Thank you for looking!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


8"x 24", acrylic on canvas…sold

Sometimes I paint things that aren't flowers  :)

This was fun.  

I hope your holidays are filled with people you love, good food and good times! 

Thank you for looking! :)

Flower #10

"Flower #10"
5" x 7", oil on canvas

Quick little guy….. time flew by yesterday!
I found myself eager to paint this one at 11pm last night, not wanting 
my flower streak to get interrupted  :)

I skipped running… something had to be sacrificed.

Thank you for checking in one me and reading!!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015


"Flowers,  #9"
8" x 10", oil on canvas

I'm not sure what I think about this one…
Painting at night in my studio, I turned off a lot of lights and put a spotlight on this little still life.
I even turned off some lights close to my canvas.

I guess I'd say I was painting in the dark.  The painting kinda turned out dark.  I'm surprised, because I thought maybe it would lead to a lighter painting.  
It was an experiment… which is the cool thing about 
 painting everyday, I'm 
feeling more casual about these little paintings, less pressure…more playful.
I like that.  :)  

Okay…thank you for checking in on me!
I appreciate it!  :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Roses in Red

"Roses in Red"
12" x 12", oil on canvas

Flower # 8….. vibrant.  
Painting at night, with it dark outside, and dimly lit inside, except for the roses :)  I've been soaking up the saturated color, like a little bit of sunshine before bed.  

My son thinks I'm crazy…."why would you want to paint flowers everyday?"  with a confused look on his beautiful face.

"I love flowers!  It feels like sunshine in the dark winter"

Nodding in agreement, he walks off to his computer.
"Go paint flowers Mom!  Good job!"

I'm so lucky….
I love my family.  :)

Thank you for looking and reading!!  :)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Flower # 7

"Flower #7"
5" x 7", oil on canvas

Sweet, little baby painting!  The size alone makes this one adorable to me!
Little, cutie pie….

okay, that's enough...  
Now, I need to look up how to make candied grapefruit peels…half dipped in dark chocolate! 
Just because it sounds delicious and I watched Jacques Pepin make them on PBS…

It's at the end of this video below if you're interested too!
Actually, everything he makes in this episode looks scrumptious…
I'm hungry :)

Thank you for looking!!  :)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Flower # 6

"Flower #6"
11" x 14", oil on canvas

Not a very clever title, but this is an oil version of the still life I set up yesterday.
Painting flowers and putting up twinkle lights outside :)

I hope your holidays are magical!
Thank you for looking in on my painting efforts! :)

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Yellow Rose

"A Yellow Rose"
12" x 16", acrylic on canvas

My fifth floral day!! :)  This is an acrylic painting.  I normally paint with oils, but I've been teaching someone who wants to paint with acrylics, so I've been painting with acrylics also.  It's easier to show someone how I did something when we're both working with the same medium.  We both use the "Stay Wet" palette …and that's a life saver!!  The paints stay open and wet on the palette, even though they dry fast on the canvas.  I bought some Golden Open acrylics to experiment with, they stay wet longer on the canvas.

This painting was with those paints.  I'm trying to get the acrylics to act like oils.  It was fun, but acrylics just aren't soft and buttery like oil paints, still fun to paint with though!

Thank you for looking and reading!  :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Single Rose

"Single Rose"
8" x 10", oil on canvas

Oh man!!  This is floral painting #4!!  I'm officially on a flower roll :)
Which means…. I've painted a floral still life 4 days in a row.  

I'm kinda proud of myself.  I'll keep at it, see how far I get!

Thank you for looking!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Flowers….three days in a row!

"Flowers 3"
16" x 20" , oil on canvas

Okay…somehow I've managed to paint flowers three days in a row.  I was walking my dog this morning and was thinking ….what if I challenged myself to paint flowers everyday for a month?

Of course, just saying that is almost a jinx for me.  I'm really great at convincing myself of things I should do daily….then conveniently forgetting all about it by day three or four….7 tops!  

But maybe….painting flowers each day would be cool.  I love looking at them.  I'd love to experiment with painting them different ways.  I'd love to get better at painting them.  They make me feel great in the dead of winter during Alaska's darkest months….  

hmmm…… maybe I'll paint flowers everyday ...until who knows when.  :)

Thank you for looking and reading!!
I talk to myself a lot….it's nice thinking I'm talking to someone else on these blog posts! :)

Little pink vase..

"Little Pink Vase" 
8" x 10", oil on canvas

More Flowers!  Yay!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


"Flowers" 18"x 24", oil on canvas 

There was a time when I thought that I never wanted to be a "flower painter".  For some unknown reason in my mind, it just seemed like a cliche that I didn't want any part of.   Be careful of the things you pronounce with strong emotion.  Because it means you have strong feelings about them….which means... they mean something to you, deep down.  Kinda like the kid on the playground that is accused of liking someone….and they protest loudly how much they DON'T like that other person!  
Well, there you go.   

So now I daydream about florals…heavy clumps of luscious petals,  dripping with color…alive with beauty.  I know I'm excited about something when I want to paint it on the biggest canvas I can find! 

I just went thrift store hunting for different vases, cups and containers for beautiful flowers to nestle into…. for me to enjoy looking at for hours, while I paint.  It seems like the best of both worlds…. having flowers to enjoy and exploring how to paint them in a way that brings a painting to life in front of me.   

Thank you for looking!  ….and thank you for reading!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Night Painting….my new hobby

I took a two night workshop with artist Susanna Coffey last week at the Anchorage Museum.
I loved it!  She was very inspiring…and had some great ideas on how to compose a night painting and thoughts about night painting in general.  I used oil paints, and we all had a headlamp…so we could see our palette and painting.  We would find an interesting spot to sit, with a view we were inspired by, have our palette in our lap and with one hand holding the painting, with the other, a brush to paint with.  It was a pretty simple set up…a very simple way to find a moment to be outside and do a small painting….even if the day was busy, we can still take a little time to do a small plein air painting at night.  

It's cold at night, but I do love being outside in the dark.  That time is usually reserved for walking my dog around the neighborhood…but now, there's something else I can do :)  

If you're going to try this fun activity, I will pass on the rule that we learned from our artist/teacher Susanna….. when you're done with your night painting, don't look at it that night, in a lit room…the rule is to save the first viewing for the next day.  I liked that rule… it works for me.

here are few other night paintings from Alaska….

Downtown Anchorage, looking from inside a warm museum (I won't always be this lucky)

Here's my little collection of night paintings.  I recommend it!  You may find you love being out in the night, painting ….soaking up the quiet.

Thank you for looking!!  

and if you would like to see some of Susanna Coffey's night paintings go to her website!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August Show….

"Michael's 66' Bug"
36" x 36", oil on stretched canvas

This Friday... August 7th from 5pm-7pm will be an opening reception for a collection of my paintings at a wonderful place in Anchorage, AK called
Modern Dweller's Chocolate Lounge.

There's a wonderful, big wall that I get to display my paintings on …for the month of August :)
Also……these people make their own chocolates…they are amazing…
and I'm going to have some in a couple days!!  

Maybe come see some paintings in person…and have a truffle while you look :)
Thank you for looking!  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


22"x 28", oil on canvas

This whole painting was inspired by the colors of sunlight
 within this glass jar….me, trying to capture all that glorious color!

If I try again, would something new happen?  Would I see the colors the same way?  
I know the shapes could shift…that part I'm not too fussy on.  But the colors,
would I see and mix them the same way on a different day…different mood?

Recently I had someone want a painting that was already sold.  They asked if I could 
paint them another one just like it.  I said I could try….see how it turns out and let them know.

Even though they're almost identical, I can see the emotional part of it is gone, in the second painting.
The inspiration, that was there in the beginning…it's only in the first painting.
It's like a science fiction show….the cloned painting doesn't have the personality 
that the first did.  Maybe I'm the only one that would notice it in my own work. 
The inspiration, the spark…. the love…it's so important to a painting.

Its the main reason I don't paint commissioned pieces….
from someone else's photo.  It might be a wonderful picture/subject…but if it didn't 
tickle my brain….it might not turnout very well. 

Anyways…I do like this painting…and I won't try it again, 
cause I have something else I'm inspired about today :)

Thank you for looking…and reading!
I appreciate it :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What if?

"Pink Raven", 12"x 16", oil on canvas

What if some ravens were born pink?  And had black and white striped legs?

I'd love that, because that would add a great punch of color all over Anchorage, Alaska.
In the winter (which is almost outlawed to talk about in the middle of summer up here) but, I'll do it anyways…cause I'm feeling rebellious today!  In the winter... all the color drains out of the frozen north for so many months.  If ravens were hot pink, the road sides, parking lots….McDonalds dumpsters, street lights…would have this wonderful color calling our attention.  At sunset, the color would shift and glow with ….maybe purples?  Or glowing around the ravens silhouette... yellow? warm coral, oranges?  Something to think about.

I'd love to see it... that's all I can say.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

What would I paint if I knew no one would ever see it?

I have been reading Dreama Tolle Perry's blog lately.
First thing that needs to be said, I love her paintings!  All that juicy, bold color, gorgeous!….Second….I love her writing and her thoughts that she candidly shares with us.  
These blog posts have been making me think about my own art, and 
where it's taking me…where do I want to go with it?

I read a post called "Two Questions "
(here's a link to it…you may want to ask yourself the same two questions…..
in what you love to create in your world)

She asks us…. if no one was to see what you create, would you still create?  My answer was yes, I know that much about myself.  But the thing that has me wondering is another question,
if no one was to see it… ever…. WHAT would you create, are you doing what your heart loves?  
For me the question says…. Am I  painting what imaginary critics might like in the future?  
Or... am I painting what my heart wants me to paint and having fun in the Now?

Which leads me to the painting above…
I think I would rather paint her….paint gas masks and goggled women…
I don't know why…I just feel like I'm playing and having fun when I paint fiction.  I allow myself time to do this in-between my "serious" paintings.

So….my question…. 
Am I denying my heart by not spending everyday painting these funky paintings?


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sleepwalker, by Kevin Elson

My brother Kevin has been entertaining me my whole life with his stories, his writing…and his humor!! I am so proud of him. Today he has made one of his life's wishes come true, he has published his first novel!!!! 
I created the book cover art…..I'm so proud to ride along on his coat tails! :)

Kevin Elson

"In the haunted Victorian beach town of Cape May. New Jersey a middle aged man begins sleepwalking again and discovers he can interact with dead. What happens next is a spiritual journey to reclaim his destiny and save the lives of his family."

For sale at Amazon…download the Kindle version …$2.99
click here

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Beach Beauty

"Beach Beauty"
 oil on board

I was missing the feeling of watercolor painting lately…all drippy, with it's transparent colors.
So this started out as a burnt umber drawing with very wet, thinned oil paint and a fairly big brush.

Then, of course, I wanted to play with adding some color….
just in some areas…give the girl some pow!

I had fun :)  I do my best work when I'm having fun, 
am I repeating myself?  I bet I am….but its cause I think we all do our best creating
when we are knee deep in what we love! 

I love these girls I paint with their colorful hair and goggles
…I'm not exactly sure why…. I just do :)
Makes the painting part feel effortless.

Thank you for looking and reading!  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wild Roses

"Wild Roses"
24"x 24"  
oil on stretched canvas

I have to say…with my paintings….. 
I'm just going where the wind takes me lately, 
and I'm really enjoying the flowers this summer!
So here's a new close up of wild roses, sitka roses is the variety 
I know them by.  I have a few 5 foot bushes at my house, 
and they smell amazing right now!!!

At the beginning of August, I'll be having a show at an 
awesome chocolate shop in Anchorage, AK…called

So I'm putting together group of paintings that 
mean "Summer" to me…this is one if them.  

Thank you for looking!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


11" x 14" oil on canvas

My husband and I go for walks in the evenings, on one of these walks I saw a small, empty 
rum bottle…...nice label…...thick green glass.  I imagined some flowers in it, looking cute on the kitchen table.  My husband is very sweet…he watches me pick up junk and try to get it in my pockets, sometimes he'll carry things home for questions asked.  He knows I have a plan...I love that about him.  I got home, gently cleaned up my new bottle.  I went out on my deck and cut a stem with blossoms off my geranium …voila!!  
Operation Cuteness ...Accomplished!  

I placed the bottle proudly on the kitchen table...…hmmm ….but then this thought occurred to me,
 I have teenage boys.  Will they now feel a positive, fun attitude towards rum bottles….
Are they going to think… loves rum bottles…. 
"lets go get us some rum bottles!"

You know that sound that tires make when they come to a screeching halt?  
I heard that sound in my mind.

So guess what?  It became a great still life subject!

I cut a piece of canvas and pinned it to a cork board ….just a quick painting…no commitment….fosters the "just playing around" attitude while I paint. (which is a great trick for ensuring a painting you'll end up really liking….and wishing you used a stretched canvas, lol)

Moral of the story…..
The less pressure I put on myself…and the more fun I have,
 the more I'll enjoy the finished painting.
I create my best when I'm having fun!

Thank you for looking and reading!  
I hope you have a creative day!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Little Sheds

I have been having fun plein air painting this summer.  
Sometimes, picking the perfect spot takes more time than the painting part….kinda silly really, there's great stuff to paint everywhere…but when I have the choice of it all, I get kinda choosey.

This is a great spot not far from home…a lake with small sheds along the shoreline, looks like a small village to me, and the sheds are colorful…and for me, that's all the more fun!

My plein air system is made by an artist in Arizona, James M. Coulter.
I love it.  I bought the medium sized box. It's quick to set up and take down, it all fits in a duffle bag….I have a nice amount of mixing space for my paints….it works well for me!  Here's the sight where you can find more specific information and even order one for yourself, if you like!

"Sheds"  12" x 16", oil on board.

Thank you for looking!